Move to Nottawasaga 1890

At the age of 76 James Ferguson and Francis Jordan moved the family from the homestead in Kincardine Township to a farm in Nottawasaga district of Simcoe County.   The reasons for the move are unknown.   Nevertheless, the census records of 1891 and 1901, confirm that James’ family was occupying a farm on Concession 8, South half of lot 17, in Nottawasaga township.   Today it is near the village of Creemore, in the township of Clearview.  Sir John A. Macdonald first owned this farm.  He apparently “lost” the farm and the Shields family acquired it before they sold it to James Ferguson.

The Census of 1891 records the names of people living at the Simcoe County farm.  The ages given are not all correct because they were often rounded to the nearest 5 years, as was the practice in the UK.  Children living with James and Francis included Samuel, Martha, Francis, Joseph, Ida, and John.  Shortly after the census, a fourth daughter, Margaret (Maggie) was born on August 25th, 1891.

The 1901 Census indicates James Ferguson, 86, (born July 8 1814) as head of the household living with 45 year old wife Fanny who was born May 3rd, 1855.  Living with them are sons Joseph 19, John 15, and daughters Ida 16, Maggie 9.   They were living in the district of Simcoe (North) sub-district Nottawasaga.  The census reports that James immigrated to Canada from Ireland as 1837.  He is listed as a Methodist farmer of Irish descent in the census.

James passed away at the age of 88 on Oct. 7th, 1902, at the family farm in Nottawasaga. He was buried Oct. 10th, at Glenhuron, possibly at the Minesing Union Cemetery.  His death records report that his birth was Aug. 1814, in Tyrone Ireland to parents David and Elizabeth Ferguson.   His birthday was actually in July 8th and his christening likely in August.

1911 Ontario Census records that after the passing of James in 1902, his son Joseph took the position as head of the household.  Living with him was his mother Fannie, sister Margret (Maggie), and younger brother, John, who was also identified as a widower and head of the household.

A hundred years later the farm lot still remains with a family relation.

The following picture was dated based upon the age of baby Margaret (Maggie).  She was born Aug. 25th 1891, and appears to be about 5 or 6 months old.  This was probably taken during Christmas 1891 or on the occassion of James & Fancis’ seventeenth wedding anniversary on Feb. 22, 1892. The heavy clothing and leggings worn by all children suggests a winter season.  It was likely a mild winter day and the family travelled by horse drawn wagon to Bervie or Kinkardine.  Young Joseph is holding the riding crop his father would use on the horses.  Beside him sister Ida is holding a woolen blanket. Her position suggests that she has been impatient with the photographer and decided to lean over onto a large pillow.  Youngest son John appears to be holding a small curly haired pet dog.  Three different styles of hats appear in the photo.  Eldest son Samuel is wearing an early Biltmore hat made in Guelph.  Beside him rests a Victorian black top hat, and on the floor below Joseph’s feet lies a Derby hat with a pinched top perhaps belonging to James.

Ferguson James 3rd of 3 families_2

Picture Left to Right

Top Row:  Samuel 15,  James 78,  Martha 14,  Francis (Jordan) 37. holding baby       Margaret 6 months.

Bottom Row:   Joseph 10,  Ida  8,  John 5.

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